Owning and managing a business requires attention to detail. Depending upon where your business is licensed and your area of operation, you must adhere to a broad spectrum of rules and regulations for towing companies. While you’re focusing on balancing the books, filing your business taxes, and providing safety training for your employees, don’t forget to perform regular inspections of your equipment and fleet. Fortunately, there are many online resources for towing businesses to help you comply in any state where you operate. Here are just a few examples.
Utah’s Towing Inspection Checklist
The Utah Department of Transportation has a dedicated site for tow truck owners and operators. In one location, you can find the administrative rules for tow truck operations, the towing fee schedule, and everything you need to look for during an inspection of your fleet. For example, in Utah, commercial tow trucks are all required to carry the following:
- Amber rotating/oscillating lights
- Portable lights
- Fire extinguisher
- Tie-down chains or straps
- Cones or triangles
- Safety chains
- Oil absorbent
- Debris container
- Chock blocks or stiff legs
- Safety vest
Montana’s Regulations for Towing Operations
For those in Montana, you can find information about laws and regulations impacting your business at either the Montana Department of Transportation’s site or at the Montana Tow Truck Association’s site. Here’s an excellent example of how these websites can be a tremendous resource for your managers. In Montana, there are standard signage requirements that towing businesses must adhere to. Here’s what the MDOT requires:
The Montana Tow Truck Association has adopted standardized signs in cooperation with the Montana Department of Transportation. Warning signs must bear the words “HAZARD AHEAD,” “LANE CLOSED AHEAD,” “ROAD CLOSED AHEAD,” “WRECK AHEAD,” “TOW TRUCK AHEAD” or “WRECKER AHEAD.”
It is highly recommended that Montana tow truck operators follow the wrecker signing guidelines provided in the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD).
State and national minimum standards for acceptable signs are:
- color – reflectorized orange or reflectorized fluorescent pink background and black border per 61-9-431
- shape – diamond warning sign
- minimum size – 36″ by 36″ on interstate, primary, secondary and urban routes, with five-inch lettering
- reflectivity – must meet MUTCD guidelines for visibility both day and night
- placement- In accordance with MCA 61-9-431 paras (2) and (3)
- incidents that require total lane closures cannot be safely diverted without following a DOT-approved sign plan involving significant traffic control measures
Oregon’s Online Resources for Towing Businesses
You can find information about Oregon’s towing regulations on the State’s official website. These laws not only affect towing companies located within Oregon but there are requirements that apply to all towing companies doing business within its borders. For example, if you are located in another state but answering a service call to a customer who is within Oregon’s state lines, your company is required to have the following:
- Valid prorate registration (apportioned registration, international registration plan or IRP);
- Insurance coverage for $50,000 cargo and $750,000 liability per accident;
- A temporary pass from Commerce and Compliance Division, if the vehicle has a combined weight (empty vehicle weight plus the total weight of the load) over 26,000 pounds; and
- A tow/recovery business certificate and tow/recovery plates from DMV.
Collins is a long-term partner with towing professionals.
Collins has been an industry leader in the towing equipment industry for over 45 years. Our Hi-SpeedⓇ Dolly and Carrier Dolly systems provide towing professionals with lightweight solutions durable enough to get even large vehicles out of challenging situations and transport them safely wherever they need to go. Our products are designed with safety first to keep your employees safe while attaching and moving vehicles. Visit our website or give us a call to learn more about our products.